Jake Dahlberg pitched five scoreless innings in his first professional start for the State College Spikes, but a seven-run seventh-inning surge by the Mahoning Valley Scrappers carried them past the Spikes to take a 7-4 win on Tuesday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Dahlberg, the St. Louis Cardinals’ 2017 21st-round draft choice out of Illinois-Chicago, allowed four hits and struck out four batters over his five frames on the mound. The Vancouver, Washington native needed just 51 pitches to get through his outing, 40 of which he threw for strikes.
Joe Gomez gave the Spikes (2-3) an early 2-0 lead when he doubled down the right field line to plate a pair of runs in the second inning. Gomez also recorded his first multi-hit game as a Spike.
However, Mahoning Valley (5-0) took advantage of a State College error in the seventh to open the door to a crooked number. 12 batters came to the plate for the Scrappers, with two-run doubles from Tre Gantt and Tyler Freeman, as well as a two-run single by Elvis Perez, serving as the key hits of the frame.
The Spikes plated a run of their own when Edwin Figuera crossed the plate on a Scrappers error in the eighth, then got within three when Wadye Ynfante singled in a run in the ninth. Despite putting the tying run on deck, though, the Spikes would get no closer.
Reliever Chris Holba (0-1), who made his professional debut for the Spikes on Tuesday after being drafted in the 11th round by the Cardinals this year out of East Carolina, took the loss. Holba was charged with three runs, two of them earned, on two hits, a walk, and a hit batsman over 1 1/3 innings. The righty also struck out two batters.
Gomez, Ynfante and Wood Myers all collected multiple hits for State College.
Mahoning Valley reliever Luis Araujo (1-0) picked up the win after throwing two shutout innings across the fifth and sixth. Araujo gave up one hit and struck out two batters. Luis Valdez (1) finished the game with three innings of two-run ball to earn the automatic save. Valdez gave up one earned run on two hits, three walks and a hit batsman while striking out one batter.
Perez and Mitch Reeves each produced three-hit games for the Scrappers.
Wednesday, the Spikes and Scrappers meet at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park for the finale of their three-game series. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will feature right-hander Franyel Casadilla (0-0) on the mound for his second start of the year with State College. Mahoning Valley will go with right-hander Juan Mota (0-0) on the hill.
The night will go to man’s best friend at the first Bark in the Park of the season, presented by Metzger Animal Hospital and NEWSRADIO 1390 WRSC. First pitch is 7:05 p.m., and fans can bring their dogs for plenty of canine-centric fun, with special tributes to our furry pals.
It’s also a Half-Craft Wednesday, presented by 93.7 THE BUS. Get into the park with half-price Outfield Bleachers, then enjoy half-price craft beers from 6-8 p.m. Plus, fans can enjoy the first Winner Wednesday of the year, presented by the PA Lottery, and a State College Borough Water Authority Water Conservation Awareness Night.
Tickets for Wednesday’s game, as well as the 2018 New York-Penn League All-Star Game presented by the Central PA Convention & Visitors Bureau and every game on the 2018 Spikes home schedule, are currently on sale through the Spikes Ticket Office. Tickets can be purchased by calling (814) 272-1711 or by visiting the Ticket Office in person from 9 a.m to the end of the game on Wednesday. Fans can also buy and download single-game tickets by visiting StateCollegeSpikes.com.
Catch all of the action on Wednesday via the Spikes Radio Network, presented by Penn State Sports Medicine, Official Healthcare Provider of Penn State Athletics, at 6:35 p.m. with Spikes Live, presented by Mount Nittany Health, on the air from Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.